I have a student who is incredibly quiet.  He was in my freshman English class for all of 50 days last year (that was as long as I was there, he was actually there the whole year).  I barely heard his voice.  Once, briefly for a moment, I did. It's not that he doesn't talk at all.  He chooses certain folk to speak to, though it is very low usually, very quiet.  He said one tiny thing to me last year.  He smiles a TON and blushes and is adorable.  This is a great kid.  He studies and does very well.
After my students had taken their prefix quiz, we went over it together.  I had this student's paper on top.  Let's call him Stephen.  Stephen's quiz was on top of all the other student quizzes.  I noticed he had gotten every question correct. YAY!  I like to ask them to answer aloud and when I got to one prefix, no one answered.  So I said, "Well, I know Stephen got it right, so what is it?" And he answered.  In a plain and normal everyday voice just like that in front of the entire class, he answered.  I was so excited.  I told everyone about this.  Stephen said something aloud to me, to the class, in front of everyone.  I emailed his parents, I told all my colleagues. I had never been happier.  I didn't think it could get any better.



We were reading a story in class.  In a rare moment of whatever, maybe insanity, maybe partial sanity, whatever it was, I had them reading aloud to each other.  I know they are supposed to be able to do this.  But it becomes chaotic often.  There are the kids who want to read.  They are good at it.  They know it.  They like it. Then there are the laggers.  The ones who read like they don't know what they're reading.  Because they don't.  They have basically zero comprehension as they read aloud and they get nothing out of it.  It sounds as if they do not understand the language at all.  Mostly because they do not understand it at all.  Therefore, I don't usually like to do this.  Anyway, getting back to today, they are reading aloud.  I am dictating when to pick the next reader, but not, at least at first, choosing readers for them.  They are to pick the next reader.  It was not too surprising when the second reader chose Stephen to read.  I said, "Brian, are you really going to do this to Stephen, make him read?"  He said, "yes."  I looked to Stephen and said, "you okay with this, you wanna do it?"  Stephen just shrugged, so I said, "go for it!" in my peppy I'm-an-inspirational-teacher voice.  
And he did it.  
He read about five paragraphs worth.  It was GLORIOUS.  He is a very good reader.  He spoke at a fairly normal level.  Of course, I'm not sure the entire class could hear him, but most could.  I could hear him and that's all I cared about.  He was calm about it.  He didn't have issues with pronunciation and it was good.  He did very well.  I am exploding with pride and happiness.  

Then, I began picking the next readers.  I hadn't heard some of these kids read aloud before and this was my chance. The severely dyslexic kid, should I choose him?  I have heard from many teachers that he has made super strides and that he has come really far with coping with his dyslexia.  He works very well for me.  He does sufficient work and although I sometimes need to give him alternate types of assessment, he is a bright kid.  Well, here goes.  It was Cody's turn.  He read beautifully.  He didn't stumble much, not even over the word "admonitions."  It was marvelous.  

All in all, this was a brilliant day.


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